NEW YORK (PIX11) — New York City officials have scrapped housing migrants out of a school gym in Brooklyn amid growing backlash from parents.
Migrant families have been moved out of P.S. 188 in Coney Island, according to Councilmember Justin Brannan. Parents and officials also report that the gym from P.S. 172 in Sunset Park is being returned to students.
“I’m not reversing strategy. The strategy was to have emergency sites for short-term respite,” said Anne Williams-Isom, the deputy mayor for Health and Human Services.
Meanwhile, officials have scouted 500 new locations citywide that could potentially house migrants, from vacant office space, shuttered schools, empty churches, and even space on Rikers Island.
However, Mayor Eric Adams said hotels in the city are at capacity or unwilling to help. City officials say the state and federal governments haven’t stepped in to help, nor have neighboring counties.
“[New York City] is the hotel capital, and it’s a major economic engine for us,” Adams said. “Almost 50% of those hotel rooms are being taken up by migrants or asylum seekers that we are paying for. So instead of monies coming from people visiting us — tourism and Broadway plays — instead of them using those hotels, we are using those hotels.”
A new emergency relief center is set to open Friday at the old Roosevelt Hotel on Madison Avenue that will serve as the ninth emergency relief intake center. There are about 150 other locations city-wide housing migrants, including shelters, hotels, and vacant office space.